What is marketing?
What is marketing really about? What is it? What isn’t it? How can you make it work? Who needs to do it? And what are the all important benefits of marketing? Read on to find out …
Defined as “the action or business of promoting and selling products and services, including market research and advertising”. Put simply, it is about supply and demand. We all understand the concept of supply and demand. This is the simple economic rule that if people want something, they will pay a price for it.
When you study marketing, you’re taught about the four P’s. This is a great grounding as everything we do still addresses one of these areas. However, because of the way we do business, and because of the sheer number of different businesses in existence today, there isn’t really a set formula for marketing.
What is marketing?
Marketing is something you must do within your business, in recession times as well as all other times, to feed your sales pipeline or funnel with regular opportunities, enquiries and leads to convert.
Marketing is also something to make work for your business, one way or another.
Marketing convinces our audience/s that we have what they need.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Marketing is for the long term and you are in it for the long haul.
What marketing isn’t?
Marketing is not a tick box exercise. It is not a case of putting your messaging out across every channel every day and to everyone and then hoping. You need to be more strategic and targeted than that.
Marketing isn’t also something to do sporadically or in a famine or feast style. It is to be done with consistency.
Marketing isn’t selling to everyone. We need to create ideal client avatars; understand where and how they are buying; tell them about our reason for being; and do the convincing to get them to buy.
It isn’t something to be scared off. It is something do able and achievable with hard work, dedication and with a plan to follow. Step by step activity.
How can marketing work for your business?
- Stop thinking of it as a ‘tick box’ exercise
You might not feel confident about marketing but there’s no point in dreading it. In fact, if you can spend some time thinking about what you want to get out of it, you might even start enjoying it. Just by understanding the ‘why’ of your marketing will help you to see the point, rather than having marketing as an item somewhere on your to-do list.
To achieve this, why not think about getting an accountability partner? It could be another small business owner or someone you network with, but it’s best if they want to achieve the same thing. You can then brainstorm your ‘why’, work out a simple plan of activities and keep each other accountable for making progress.
- Measure the outcome
Another thing that always amazes us here at Pinpoint is that people will spend money on marketing but not check what they got in return. You wouldn’t go to a shop, pay for your goods and then walk out without them so the same should be true of marketing.
I don’t think anyone should be a slave to the numbers, and it is always important to prioritise quality over quantity, but it is worth having a few measurements that you check regularly to see whether what you are doing is working. For example, number of leads or enquiries, the source of these leads and what marketing method brings in the most results, as well as looking at likes, reach and engagement. Which you choose will depend on what you were aiming for. You might be trying to get more followers on social media. So keep a track of the numbers but perhaps also look at who your new followers are. Great news if they fit the profile of your ideal client. Not so great if it’s your mum!
- Hit the right target at the right time
Talking of ideal customers, have you ever heard of an ‘avatar’? This is a made up person and creating one is really valuable for your business. You imagine your ideal client (you can have as many avatars as you want) and develop them by thinking about what makes them tick, what their issues or struggles are, where they hang out, what they read/watch/do, when they are likely to buy or browse and then you give them a name and identity. Suddenly, you’ll find you start seeing them everywhere and it becomes much easier to target your messages. And, your messages are a big part of your marketing.
Although it feels like you might be missing out, it is really important to be specific when you put out marketing messages. The more you can hit the nail on the head when you talk about a problem you can solve or a product you supply, the more likely you are to get more business.
As I said before, it’s not rocket science so hopefully this can be a list you feel you can take action on.
Who needs to do marketing?
Every business as without marketing there are no prospects or customers and without customers there is no business.
I haven’t yet come across a business who doesn’t need marketing. Even if they say they don’t or say they have done well without it, I say imagine how well you could be doing with it. Marketing brings opportunities! Is there anyone who doesn’t need it?
What are the benefits of marketing?
STOP WASTING TIME AND MONEY ON THE WRONG MARKETING!
- Without a plan IT will be harder, longer, more expensive and stressful to grow your business!
- Without a plan you run the risk of overspending, wasting time and making poor decisions
- Getting a strategy and plan is easier than you think
- It is possible to get excited by and invested in your marketing
- You can get the desired outcomes and ROI